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Port Chester Receives $5 Million State Grant For Sewer Upgrades

Richard "Fritz" Falanka is the mayor of Port Chester
Richard "Fritz" Falanka is the mayor of Port Chester Photo Credit: Provided

Port Chester received $5,069,263 in interest-free financing on Thursday, Feb. 15 for its ongoing sewer rehabilitation work through the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation’s (EFC) Clean Water State Revolving Fund.

In a partnership between the Village of Port Chester’s Department of Planning & Economic Development, Department of Finance, Village Clerk, and the Village’s Engineering Consultant Dolph Rotfeld Engineering, P.C., the Village submitted an application to have the EFC purchase existing sewer bonds the Village issued over the last four years through a program called the New York State Revolving Fund (SRF). Now, instead of paying interest on these bonds for thirty years, the Village will be able to pay back the bonds interest-free to the EFC; an approximate savings of $2.5 million to taxpayers over the life of the bonds.

The zero interest loan funds, in combination with the Village being awarded Water Infrastructure Grant funds last year, help the village complete the necessary clean water projects at lower cost to Port Chester taxpayers. The state programs are part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $2.5 billion clean water infrastructure program enacted in 2017, including the state grants portion advocated by Port Chester’s State Assemblyman Steve Otis who helped initiate the municipal water grant program in 2015.

Assemblyman Steve Otis, D-Rye, congratulated Port Chester Mayor Richard "Fritz" Falanka and other village officials by saying, “Port Chester has taken the initiative in securing important state assistance to lower these project costs for taxpayers. Governor Cuomo’s program for clean water funding, especially for local governments, is the most comprehensive in the nation. I am very happy these funds are coming to Port Chester.”

The Village is in its fourth year of a five-year, $15 million sewer rehabilitation program which seeks to completely rehabilitate and modernize its sanitary sewer infrastructure. The Village will be entering its final year of the project in 2018-19.

“The sewer rehabilitation project is a shining example of what sound capital planning and investment can do to transform a community. It has been one of our greatest assets in receiving grant funding from various state and federal agencies, because it is easy to see the strategic, local commitment we have made to the project,” said Village Manager Christopher Steers. “Ensuring our community continues to be served by adequate infrastructure and exceptional public services is a central tenet of our recently-adopted 2017-2022 Strategic Plan, which touts the importance of community resiliency and smart growth.”

This award comes off the back of a $468,837 Water Infrastructure Improvement Act (WIIA) grant from EFC in early 2017 for similar work, and an additional $750,000 for sewer rehabilitation work from the New York Office of Homes and Community Renewal through Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding. The Village expects to apply for several more grant programs in the next year.

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